Iosif Ton – Cei doi stapani; Stapanul cel bun (2/2)

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Gabi Lupescu – ‘Samson’ sintem noi….

1) Samson L-a iubit pe Dumnezeu. L-a iubit mult, cu pasiune chiar. Vedem lucrul acesta din faptele lui marete, demne de un adevarat erou national, asemenea lui Hercules al grecilor. Problema lui a fost aceea ca s-a iubit pe sine mai mult decat pe Dumnezeu, iar pe femei le-a iubit mai mult decat pe sine.

Samson a uitat textul din Geneza 2, 24: “De aceea, va lasa omul pe tatal sau si pe mama sa si se va alipi de nevasta sa; si cei doi se vor face un singur trup.” El a interpretat acest principiu, stabilit de Creator inca din primele zile ale existentei lumii noastre, intr-un mod cu totul personal si original: “De aceea va lasa omul pe tatal sau si pe mama sa si se va alipi de … nevestele sale…” , incercand sa obtina acelasi rezultat: “ sa fie un singur trup.” Numai ca schimbarile facute de om in ecuatia lui Dumnezeu nu duc la acelasi rezultat …

Si iata-l pe Samson incheindu-si viata, pe cand era in deplina maturitate si putere fizica si intelectuala, singur si parasit de aceia si acelea pe care i-a iubit.

2) Al doilea lucru pe care il invatam din trista experienta a lui Samson este acela ca Dumnezeu nu-si abandoneaza copiii atat de usor pe cat credem noi.

Stiti cat timp a fost Samson judecator in Israel ? Douazeci de ani ! In tot acest timp Dumnezeu a aratat indelunga rabdare fatza de copilul sau rebel, incercand pe toate caile sa-i indrepte pasii pe calea cea buna. L-a sprijinit cand a avut nevoie, l-a avertizat, a ingaduit sa vina in viata lui Samson tot felul de incercari si suferinte, dar nu l-a abandonat. Dumnezeu stia ca in inima lui Samson , oricat de lumeasca parea, mai licarea o scanteie de credinta si dragoste dupa neprihanire.

Daca noi am fi fost in locul lui Dumnezeu, am fi rabdat toate escapadele lui Samson ? Am fi asteptat douazeci de ani ca omul numarul 1 al natiunii si al bisericii din acea vreme sa-si vina in fire si sa-si indrepte caile ? Si totusi, Dumnezeu il rabda, il ajuta in momentele dificile, iar in final, cand Samson se trezeste la realitate, ii asculta ultima rugaciune si face prin el o lucrare pe care nu o facuse intreaga viata.

Cat de adevarat este cuvantul care spune: “Domnul, Dumnezeu este un Dumnezeu plin de indurare si milostiv, incet la manie, plin de bunatate si credinciosie, care Isi tine dragostea pana in mii de neamuri de oameni, iarta faradelegea, razvratirea si pacatul…” ( Exod 34, 6.7 pp. ) !

3) Samson a avut un caracter dificil. Poate tocmai datorita acestui fapt, in prestiinta Sa, Dumnezeu a dat parintilor lui instructiuni cat se poate de clare cu privire la cresterea lui – legea nazireatului. Insa, desi avea ochi, Samson era orb d.p.d.v.spiritual. Samson nu-si vedea defectele, nu-si recunostea slabiciunile si inclinatiile pacatoase… nu lua aminte la indemnurile celor din jurul sau… de a merge pe calea cea buna !.

Ce legatura exista intre viata lui Samson …si noi, fiii veacului al XXI-lea ? Ce semnificatie au infrangerile si biruintele lui Samson pentru biserica noastra, acum, la sfarsit de timp si de istorie ?

Samson este un prototip… al b…isericii Laodicea. Samson suntem noi, cei carora Dumnezeu ne-a facut o chemare atat de sfanta si pentru care El are planuri atat de marete. Ca si in cazul parintilor lui Samson, bisericii asteptatoare a revenirii Mantuitorului i s-au dat instructiuni detaliate cu privire la cum sa ne comportam in familie si societate, cum sa ne hranim sanatos, cum sa ne recreem, cum sa lucram pentru Domnul.

Din nefericire, Laodicea, asemenea lui Samso … are ochi dar nu vede !. Suntem orbi fata de ocaziile oferite de Dumnezeu, orbi fata de nevoia noastra de Duh Sfant, orbi cu privire la defectele noastre de caracter, orbi fata de chemarea facuta de Dumnezeu, orbi fata de rasplatirea promisa celor mantuiti.

Samson a fost un urias cu simturile morale amortite. Cand s-a trezit insa, zguduit de lucrarea Duhului in constiinta, dar si de curgerea evenimentelor din viata sa… Samson a biruit.

Biserica Laodicea …este un urias care doarme !. Cand Dumnezeu va considera ca a sosit timpul, El o va trezi din somnul mortii si va folosi acest “urias’ pentru a-Si aduce la ideplinire planurile si pentru ca Numele si Adevarul Sau… sa fie reabilitate in fata intregului univers !.

Isus Bisericii Laodicea: Iata eu stau la usa si bat

Timpul acela nu este departe de noi. Samson si-a incheiat viata cu o biruinta castigata …cu un pret urias. La fel, la incheierea istoriei acestei lumi, Laodicea, ultima biserica ce va juca ultimul act al luptei dintre bine si rau, va fi biruitoare. Daca nu ar fi asa, cum ar fi dat Iisus, Martorul credincios si adevarat, cea mai frumoasa fagaduinta acestei biserici : “ Celui ce va birui… ii voi da sa sada cu mine pe scaunul Meu de domnie, dupa cum si Eu am biruit si am sezut cu Tatal Meu pe scaunul Lui de domnie.” ? ( Apocalipsa 3, 21 ).

Problema este ca Laodicea este astazi o biserica inca luptatoare… nu biruitoare. In ea se gasesc si grau si neghina, si pesti buni si pesti rai, si robi buni si robi rai, si fecioare intelepte si fecioare neintelepte…
Din care clasa… crezi ca faci parte ?. Sa umblam deci cu Dumnezeu , si sa-l slujim cu scumpatate !. Amin.

Apocalipsa 3:14-22

14 Îngerului bisericii din Laodiceea scrie-i:”Cel care este Amin, Martorul credincios și adevărat, originea a ceea ce a creat Dumnezeu, spune astfel:

15 Îți cunosc faptele, știu că nu ești nici rece, nici în clocot. Ce bine-ar fi să fii rece sau în clocot!

16 Dar așa, întrucât ești călduț – nici rece, nici în clocot – te voi vărsa din gura Mea!

17 Pentru că spui: îSunt bogat, am adunat avere și n-am nevoie de nimic!î, dar nu-ți dai seama că ești nenorocit, vrednic de milă, sărac, orb și gol,

18 te sfătuiesc să cumperi de la Mine aur curățat prin foc – ca să fii bogat, haine albe – ca să te îmbraci, ca să nu ți se vadă goliciunea și să fii expus rușinii, și alifie pentru ochi – ca să poți vedea!

19 Eu îi mustru și-i disciplinez pe cei pe care-i iubesc – deci fii devotat și pocăiește-te!

20 Ascultă, Eu stau la ușă și bat – dacă cineva Mă aude și-Mi deschide, voi intra și voi lua masa cu el și el cu Mine.

21 Celui victorios îi voi da un loc împreună cu Mine pe tronul Meu, la fel cum Eu am fost victorios și am stat împreună cu Tatăl Meu pe tronul Lui.

22 Luați aminte la ceea ce le spune Duhul bisericilor!”

Ruinele "Laodicea"

Holy Ghost Fire

by Rev. Allen Baker – Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut. From Banner of Truth Trust, UK (11/2010)

And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:3)

If Brett McCracken’s observation is correct — that seventy per cent of those age eighteen to twenty-two, who grew up in the church, leave it never to return again,1 then surely we can agree that the evangelical church is in big trouble. Ever since the late 1970’s when evangelicalism began to suffer the loss of members, she has tried numerous schemes to stop the bleeding. First it was the church growth movement with its emphasis on homogeneity, that we ought to worship with people ‘just like us.’ Then came the seeker friendly movement with its use of drama and ‘how to’, psycho-therapeutic sermons, seeking to reach the Baby Boomer generation who was bored with church. Then came, for a brief period of time, the Emerging Church movement which sought to connect the Generation X culture with the ancient past. And now we have hipster Christianity where pastors don metro-sexual dress, sport $80 haircuts, and use shocking speech and address even more shocking topics from the pulpit in order to reach the Millennial generation.

In each of these movements there can be no doubt that some were truly converted, and surely mega-churches, for good or for ill, have come out of all these approaches. The question, however, is this — are these offerings of strange fire to the Lord? God was terribly displeased with Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, when they brought their strange fire on the altar (Num. 3:4). He killed them on the spot. There are at least three underlying false assumptions in each of these movements. Consequently the embrace of any or all of them will fail to bring the substantial, biblical growth evangelicalism wants and needs. What are they and what is the remedy? First, each of these movements assumes a semi-Pelagian view of man. Pelagius, the fourth century A.D. heretic, denied the doctrine of original sin, believing that mankind therefore was not corrupted by Adam’s fall into sin. In other words, man was completely free to choose or reject the overtures of the gospel. The semi-Pelagian (modern day Arminianism) does not go that far. It says that while man was definitely and adversely affected by Adam’s fall, he still has some ability to decide on his own free will to follow Christ. The moment one takes this position is the moment he becomes a pragmatist in gospel work. If man has the key to the jailhouse of his sin in his pocket, then we ought to use any method necessary to coerce or seduce him to use it. So, anything goes in church services with entertainment, music, sermons. If a sixty year old pastor wants to reach the Millennial and X generations then why not bring his wife on the platform, having a bed there as a prop, and talk openly and specifically about sexual intercourse, urging the married couples to engage in that activity every night for a week?2

The second false assumption is that the Word of God preached is insufficient to get the job done. No evangelical pastor will admit this of course, but this is the practical outcome. Therefore sermons are becoming shorter and shorter, more and more devoid of solid Biblical exposition and content. The emphasis in many churches seems to be on the unbeliever, ‘dumbing down’ the sermon in order to appeal to him, leaving the rest of the congregation spiritually malnourished. No wonder, then, that the problems of marital infidelity, divorce, wayward children, and varied addictions are as rampant inside the church as outside it.

And the third false assumption is that the Word of God is sufficient. ‘Al, what are you saying? Are you contradicting yourself? Didn’t you just say that many today believe the preached word is insufficient? Which is it?’ Here’s what I mean — some who hold to the sufficiency of the preached Word of God believe that is all that is required, that all a preacher needs to do is stand up, open his mouth, after studying well and preparing a good, solid Biblical sermon, and all will be well, that God will bless the simple preaching of the Word. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But this also is a faulty assumption. I hear it all the time from Reformed types. This, however, was not enough for Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, or Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Did they believe in the total inability of man to believe the gospel? Absolutely! Did they believe in the complete sufficiency of Scripture? Yes, of course. But they also believed in the preached Word energized by the Holy Spirit. Their preaching and their lives were marked by Holy Ghost fire. What is that? John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord Jesus, said that One was coming who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11). Isaiah said that an angel came and touched his depraved mouth with coals of fire from the altar (Isa. 6:6-7). The men on the road to Emmaus, after hearing Jesus open the Scriptures to them about himself said that their hearts burned within them (Luke 24:32). Malachi said that the coming of the Lord would be like a refiner’s fire (Mal. 3:2-3). Applying the words of the Psalmist, the writer to the Hebrews says that God makes his messengers a flame of fire (Heb. 1:7, Psa. 104:4) Paul tells us that we will be saved by fire (1 Cor. 3:15). Hebrews exhorts us to worship the Lord with reverence, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). And Luke says that one of the manifestations of the coming Holy Spirit was tongues that resembled fire (Acts 2:3). This was the fulfilment of John’s words (Luke 3:16).

What does this mean? Fire in the Bible is symbolic of three things — purity, power, and passion. Isaiah is purified by altar coals. Jesus’ baptism of the Spirit and fire promises the coming power of God. And God’s messengers are a flaming fire, filled with passion to take the gospel to the nations. By all means, we ought to reject semi-Pelagianism and what comes from it; but we must also reject the notion that all we need is the sufficiency of the Scripture. We need both the Scripture and the Spirit. We need to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17) but we must also pray with all perseverance and petition in the Spirit for all the saints, that the Word may go forth with boldness (Eph. 6:18-20). How do we get there? We must have Holy Ghost fire. We must have the unction of the Spirit (1 John 2:20). There is only one way, and that is earnest prayer and supplication, pouring out our hearts to God in repentance, asking for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), seeking his presence and power until we get it (James 4:8). If you are a preacher then make this your highest priority in ministry. If you support your preacher in prayer, and surely you should do so, then pray that the unction, Holy Ghost fire, will come with fulness in purity of motives, power in preaching, and passion in pursuit of ministry. I know — it looks strange, decidedly uncool in our day when hip and laid back is in — but we ought to go to church and watch our pastor burn with Holy Ghost fire as he stands to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. This is not a casual thing. This is not a ‘maybe you ought to think about it’ proposition. This is life and death (2 Cor. 3-4). Our words are a savour of life unto life or death unto death (2 Cor. 2:15-16).

Samuel Chadwick said that when the church talks a lot about its problems, when conferences increase then she is in trouble. She is looking to activities to overcome the lack of true spiritual power. ‘We are acting as though the only remedy for decline were method, organization, and compromise.’3 Surely we can do better. Surely we must do better. We must have Holy Ghost fire!

Free John Piper electronic books in the German language + Malawi & Russian (Carti ‘gratis’ de John Piper in Limba Germana)

Pentru fratii Romani din Germania si Europa- mai jos veti gasi link-uri la carti scrise (online) de John Piper cu traducerea in Limba Germana. Dati-le mai departe si prietenilor si cunostintelor care cunosc si vorbesc Limba Germana sau Rusa.

For all of our Romanian brothers and sisters in Germany and Austria, as well as the rest of Europe, here is a list to pass along to your German speaking friends and colleagues.

This is the link they should bookmark for this list – http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/a-new-gospel-network-in-europe-and-free-piper-ebooks-in-german?utm_source=Desiring+God&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9ecf95120c-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN

Desiring God is working to serve the German-speaking world through the recent addition of seven online books (PDF) in German, which you can download from our website for free. Thanks so much to Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung (CLV) for providing them to us!

Recent posts from International Outreach —

In Lumine has also made many of their Russian titles available in digital format, which you can download from the DG website:

Christ-Exalting Resources in Russian and Ukraine

Iosif Ton – Cei doi stapani; Stapanul cel rau (1/2)

(via) AlfaOmegaTV
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Gabi Lupescu – Parabola Tramvaiului

Poate ati auzit parabola tramvaiului-…o parabola moderna in care am putea sa ne regasim ca individ… dar si ca biserica:
Intr-o statie se afla un tramvai oprit. Usile sunt deschise, conductorul se afla la carma, iar pe o tablita sunt scrise destinatia si traseul. Oamenii urca si se aseaza pe scaune, insa tramvaiul nu porneste… Calatorii incep sa discute, se uita la ceas, apoi iar discuta, asteptand ca sa plece din clipa in clipa. Insa tramvaiul tot nu porneste…

Oamenii se gandesc ca poate conductorul lor nu este bun si cer sa li se dea un altul. Noul conductor- un om cu o experienta impresionanta in domeniu, vine, se aseaza pe scaunul lui, dar tramvaiul tot nu porneste…
La un moment dat, calatorii se gandesc ca, daca tot nu porneste tramvaiul, ar fi bine sa schimbe scaunele, sa puna pe jos o mocheta noua si sa vopseasca tramvaiul pe dinafara. Zis si facut ! Tramvaiul este reinnoit , reconditionat, adaptat noilor cerinte, insa el tot nu porneste…

Unii calatori se gandesc ca tramvaiul lor nu va porni pana ce nu vor fi ocupate toate locurile. Ca urmare, ei coboara din tramvai si se duc pe la colturi de strada , convingandu-i pe oameni sa urce si ei in acelasi tramvai. Unii se lasa convinsi si urca, scaunele se umplu, insa tramvaiul tot nu porneste…
Se mai incearca o solutie, propusa de unii calatori preocupati de situatia neplacuta in care se aflau: coboara si imping tramvaiul o bucata de drum, dar tramvaiul tot nu porneste…
Descurajati, cei mai multi se decid sa coboare si sa se urce intr-un alt tramvai, cand, un trecator se uita la ei, se uita la tramvai si le spune:

“Mai, oameni buni ! …Nu vedeti ca tramvaiul vostru… nu atinge reteaua de alimentare ?”
Parabola acesta ne face sa zambim… insa pe plan spiritual, poate ca nu suntem prea departe. Oricate ceremonii si ritualuri am inventa in biserica …si oricat de confortabile am face locasurile de cult, daca nu suntem conectati la sursa puterii spirituale- Iisus Christos- “tramvaiul” nu va inainta nici macar un pas.

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